The Markets (as of market close ​​​​​​October 18​​​​​​​, 2019)

For the second week in a row, each of the benchmark indexes listed here (except for the Dow) posted gains last week. Stocks got a boost from some strong third-quarter earnings reports as several large financial institutions recorded strong earnings. The S&P 500 came close to reaching its record high earlier in the week, while the small caps of the Russell 2000 surged ahead by more than 1.50%. Long term Treasuries saw yields fall slightly as prices inched up on news of another stalemate on new attempts to reach a Brexit accord and weak U.S. retail figures. For the second week in a row, each of the benchmark indexes listed here (except for the Dow) posted gains last week. Stocks got a boost from some strong third-quarter earnings reports as several large financial institutions recorded strong earnings. The S&P 500 came close to reaching its record high earlier in the week, while the small caps of the Russell 2000 surged ahead by more than 1.50%. Long term Treasuries saw yields fall slightly as prices inched up on news of another stalemate on new attempts to reach a Brexit accord and weak U.S. retail figures.

Oil prices dropped last week, closing at $53.71 per barrel by late Friday afternoon, down from the prior week's price of$54.77. The price of gold (COMEX) rose last week, closing at $1,493.60 by late Friday afternoon, up from the prior week's price of $1,491.70. The national average retail regular gasoline price was $2.629 per gallon on October 14, 2019, $0.016 less than the prior week's price and $0.250 less than a year ago.

Market/Index

2018 Close

Prior Week

As of ​10/18

Weekly Change

YTD Change

DJIA

23327.46

2​6816.59

2​6770.20

​-0.17%

​​​1​4.76%

Nasdaq

6635.28

8057.04

8089.54

0.40%

​21.92%

S&P 500

2506.85

2970.27

2​986.20

​0.54%

​19.12%

Russell 2000

1348.56

1​511.90

1​​535.48

​1.56%

​​13.86%

Global Dow

2736.74

3021.17

3048.36

0.90%

11.39%

Fed. Funds target rate

2.25%​–2.50%

1.75%​–2.00%

1.​75%​–2.00%

​0 bps

-50 bps

10-year Treasuries

2.68%

1.75%

1.74%

-1 bps

-​​​94 bps

Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.

Last Week's Economic Headlines

  • Retail sales fell 0.3% in September after climbing 0.6% in August. However, retail sales are up 4.1% over September 2018. Retail trade sales were also down 0.3% for September, as were online sales (nonstore retail). For September, sales grew in clothing and clothing accessories (1.3%) and furniture and home furnishing store (0.6%). Notable decreases were seen in sales for building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (-1.0%), motor vehicle and parts dealers (-0.9%), and department stores (-1.4%). This report shows consumer spending cooled in September, which may be due to uncertainty about the economy moving forward.
  • Industrial production fell 0.4% in September after vaulting 0.8% in August, according to the latest report from the Federal Reserve. Total industrial production is 0.1% lower in September than it was a year earlier. Manufacturing dropped 0.5% last month following a 0.6% bump in August. According to the report, manufacturing output was reduced by a strike at a major manufacturer of motor vehicles. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, manufacturing slipped 0.2%. Mining plummeted 1.3%, while utilities jumped 1.4% in September. This report highlights the impact weakening demand for U.S. exports is having on manufacturing.
  • Residential construction could be in for a slowdown in the fall. Building permits for residential housing fell 2.7% in September after climbing in August. Housing starts also plummeted 9.4% last month, while home completions plunged 9.7%. On the plus side, building permits for single-family homes climbed 0.8% in September and single-family housing starts inched up 0.3%. On the other hand, single-family home completions decreased 8.6% from their August totals.
  • For the week ended October 12, there were 214,000 claims for unemployment insurance, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week's level. According to the Department of Labor, the advance rate for insured unemployment claims remained at 1.2% for the week ended October 5. The advance number of those receiving unemployment insurance benefits during the week ended October 5 was 1,679,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the prior week's level, which was revised up by 5,000.

Eye on the Week Ahead

The latest information on the housing sector is available this week. Sales of existing homes got a much-needed boost in August, while new home sales continued to surge. Also out this week is the September report on durable goods orders. New orders have risen 3 consecutive months, but are still down 0.4% over the past 12 months ended in August.

Data sources: News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. Market data: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.


The Markets (as of market close ​​​​​​October 11​​​​​​​, 2019)

Last week, President Trump said the United States and China had reached a "substantial, phase-one" agreement to resolve the trade war between the economic giants. Essentially, the United States agreed to hold off on the imposition of additional tariffs on Chinese imports, while China agreed to ramp up the purchase of U.S. agricultural products. Buoyed by the prospects of a further trade accord, investors dove into the market, sending each of the indexes listed here higher by the close of trading last week. Both the Dow and Nasdaq rose by almost 1.0%, followed by the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500. However, the biggest mover was the Global Dow, which surged almost 2.0%. With money moving to stocks, gold and 10-year Treasuries saw their respective prices slip.

Oil prices climbed last week, closing at $54.77 per barrel by late Friday afternoon, up from the prior week's price of$53.01. The price of gold (COMEX) fell last week, closing at $1,491.70 by late Friday afternoon, down from the prior week's price of $1,510.30. The national average retail regular gasoline price was $2.645 per gallon on October 7, 2019, $0.003 more than the prior week's price but $0.258 less than a year ago.

Market/Index

2018 Close

Prior Week

As of ​10/11

Weekly Change

YTD Change

DJIA

23327.46

2​6573.72

2​6816.59

​0.91%

​​​1​4.96%

Nasdaq

6635.28

7982.47

8057.04

0.93%

​21.43%

S&P 500

2506.85

2952.01

2​970.27

​0.62%

​18.49%

Russell 2000

1348.56

1​500.70

1​​511.90

​.75%

​​12.11%

Global Dow

2736.74

2964.37

3021.17

1.92%

10.39%

Fed. Funds target rate

2.25%​–2.50%

1.75%​–2.00%

1.​75%​–2.00%

​0 bps

-50 bps

10-year Treasuries

2.68%

1.51%

1.75%

24 bps

-​​​93 bps

Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.

Last Week's Economic Headlines

  • Inflationary pressures remained subdued in September. The Consumer Price Index was unchanged last month after rising 0.1% in August. Over the last 12 months, the CPI has increased 1.7%. Prices less food and energy rose 0.1% in September after increasing 0.3% in each of the last 3 months. A closer look at consumer prices last month shows that energy prices fell 1.4% as gasoline prices sank 2.4%. Prices for used cars and trucks dropped 1.6%, apparel prices decreased 0.4%, and medical care commodities prices tumbled 0.6%. Offsetting those declines were increases in prices for food (0.1%), shelter (0.3%), transportation services (0.3%), and medical care services (0.4%).

  • Producers of goods and services at the wholesale level saw their prices drop by 0.3% in September following two consecutive monthly increases. Over the past 12 months, producer prices are up 1.4%. A closer look reveals that prices for services at the producer level dropped 0.2% in September after climbing 0.3% in August. Nearly half of the September decline in prices for services can be traced to machinery and vehicle wholesaling prices, which fell 2.7%. Producer prices for goods decreased 0.4% in September after a 0.5% drop in August. Three-fourths of the September decrease in goods prices can be traced to prices for gasoline, which fell 7.2%. This report, coupled with the CPI, supports expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates at least one more time this year.

  • Higher fuel prices drove import prices 0.2% higher in September following a 0.2% drop in August. Over the past 12 months, import prices are down 1.6%. Exports fell 0.2% last month after decreasing 0.6% in August. Since September 2018, export prices have also fallen 1.6%.

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover report (JOLTS), the number of job openings slipped by a little more than 100,000 from July. The number of hires also fell by about 200,000, as did the number of separations. In August, job openings rose in such industries as construction; trade; transportation and utilities; finance and insurance; and government. During the same period, job openings fell in education and health services; manufacturing; information; and leisure and hospitality. Over the 12 months ended in August, hires totaled 69.5 million and separations totaled 67.1 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.4 million.

  • For the week ended October 5, there were 210,000 claims for unemployment insurance, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week's level, which was revised up by 1,000. According to the Department of Labor, the advance rate for insured unemployment claims inched up from 1.1% to 1.2% for the week ended September 28. The advance number of those receiving unemployment insurance benefits during the week ended September 28 was 1,684,000, an increase of 29,000 from the prior week's level, which was revised up by 4,000.

Eye on the Week Ahead

A few economic reports worth reviewing are out this week. The retail sales report for September, which measures prices retailers of consumer goods and services receive, is another important indicator of inflationary pressures. August saw retail sales increase by 0.4%. Total sales for the June 2019 through August 2019 period were up 3.7% from the same period a year ago. Nonstore (online) retailers continue to see sales grow — up 1.6% for the month and 16.0% since August 2018. The report on new residential construction is also out this week. August showed strong growth in building permits and housing starts, which should add to needed inventory for new residential properties for the fall. Another report out this week is the Federal Reserve's statement on industrial production. August saw industrial production rise 0.6% after falling 0.1% in July. Manufacturing also increased 0.5% for the month — both encouraging signs for the manufacturing sector.

Data sources: News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. Market data: Based on data reported in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighted index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.